We R Strong and We R Proud — ONE VOLLEYBALL

baptiste-giabiconi  > volleyball >  We R Strong and We R Proud — ONE VOLLEYBALL

Unfortunately I suffered a season ending injury on Feb 8th, which then turned most of what I was expecting and planning for, completely upside-down. I broke my left leg during a match and it couldn’t have happened at a more poorly timed moment. I went from being the most fit and athletic that I’ve ever been with playoffs and nationals right around the corner to not being able to walk for 4 months and needing surgery.

What have you learned from your season ending injury and what is the biggest advice you would provide to your team heading into Final four and Nationals in the coming weeks?

As heartbreaking and disappointing as this injury has been it’s given me an entirely fresh perspective on sport and life, which I’m very thankful for. Obviously it crushes me to not be able to finish the season on the court after all the hard work I’ve put in the gym, the weight room, the classroom and so on but at least I can still be apart of the team during This historic season. It’s hard to appreciate everything you have until something is gone. What I’ve really taken from this injury is how lucky I am to have so many amazing opportunities to temporarily lose in the first place – like the ability to walk, play sports and compete in meaningful championships. Not everyone has those chances to begin with at all, so for that, I am extremely grateful.

My message to the girls before every match this season shared a similar theme; they were just dressed in different costumes. Appreciate every opportunity you have to compete together because these moments won’t last forever. Don’t get hung up on the negative because the future needs your full attention and commitment, and celebrate greatness as if it is your last match. I’m very satisfied to have had that mindset throughout the entire season, right from the beginning, because I knew it would be my last season. I just didn’t know it would end a month and a half early before all the excitement and pressure. One silver lining to all of this is that a different player on the team gets to hit the court and experience the most thrilling and emotional matches of the season. Here I come beach season and ONE Volleyball tournaments!!

What inspired you to start this campaign #weRstrongandweRproud?

This female athlete body image campaign is actually 1 of 5 projects I’ve been working on this season that embody the theme of women in sport. I’m fortunate enough to have a very sturdy influence as a player and coach and connections within Ryerson, which have allowed me to make all of these ideas come to life. I was actually inspired by the confidence and carefree attitude of my tree planting community this past summer to look, dress, act and be whatever makes you feel happy. If only I could bring this attitude into the real world, how wonderful would that be?

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